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Chief master sergeant of Air Force visits Columbus, offers advice to Airmen

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy greets Staff Sgts. Juan Garcia and Thomas Blandino during his visit Jan. 25, 2010, to Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. (U.S. Air Force photo/Elizabeth Owens)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy greets Staff Sgts. Juan Garcia and Thomas Blandino during his visit Jan. 25, 2010, to Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. (U.S. Air Force photo/Elizabeth Owens)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) -- The chief master sergeant of the Air Force and his wife visited Columbus Air Force Base Jan. 25 and 26 to speak to Airmen and their answer questions while touring the base.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy addressed key issues and challenges the Air Force is facing and offered advice and mentorship to Airmen of all ranks.

One issue the chief is currently addressing is how the Air Force develops its enlisted force. He said they're looking at a process called deliberate development to address this.

"We need to take the combat experience our Airmen are receiving and the assignments they are getting today and couple that with education and training," Chief Roy said. "That is how we are going to develop the Airmen of the future."

In addition, the chief said Air Force officials are looking at how they train Airmen prior to deployments.

"The fact of the matter is, we are a nation at war and it requires us to train Airmen before they get into combat," he said.

The chief added the Air Force needs to focus on reintegrating those Airmen when they return home from deployments.

Columbus AFB is a specialized undergraduate pilot training base and features a higher ratio of officers to enlisted members.

"The enlisted force at Columbus AFB is very, very important to the mission here -- growing the future pilots of our United States Air Force," Chief Roy said. "Our enlisted Airmen here have a dynamic piece of that because they have the chance to meet these young Airmen, these young pilots, very early in their career. They can have a huge impact on these young aviators of the future."

Chief Roy advised today's Airmen to get involved in professional organizations, help develop themselves and take advantage of the numerous educational opportunities afforded to them. But his biggest piece of advice was a very simple one.

"Be the best Airman that you can be," Chief Roy said. "If you are a technician out on the airfield, be the absolute best technician on the airfield. If you are working in the comptroller flight, be the absolute best comptroller. That is what you need to do, focus on being the best Airman that you can be."

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